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Liability for Slip and Falls in Hotel Bathrooms and Restrooms: Special Considerations

Accidents can occur anywhere, but hotel bathrooms and restrooms have specific risks. The general unfamiliarity that you have with these rooms compounds the dangers that are usually present. You might not be sure how slippery it gets in front of the shower or where the support handles are when you slip.

These accidents are made all the more complicated when it comes time to prove who was responsible. Negligence on the part of hotel management can be established in court, and the medical expenses involved in your hotel injury can become their responsibility. At Zbinden & Curtis Attorneys At Law, we would like to help clients understand the risks of hotel bathrooms, their rights when accidents occur, and the role that hotel management must play in keeping you safe.

Why are Hotel Bathrooms and Restrooms Prone to Accidents?

Hotel bathrooms and restrooms are different from the ones we have at home. They are designed to cater to a diverse range of guests and may have unique features we’re unfamiliar with. This, combined with the varieties in design and layout, can easily catch guests off guard. The CDC has said that most bathroom accidents, especially in unfamiliar settings, happen during bathing or showering. This shows the importance of proper precautions and safety measures in those areas.

Non-Slip Measures

One concern is whether non-slip measures are available in the showers and whether they are adequately anchored to support you. While many hotels may install non-slip mats, not all keep up with their maintenance. Over time, these mats can deteriorate and lose their anti-slip properties, then become slipping hazards themselves. Unfamiliar fixtures can pose additional challenges, especially when guests are in a hurry or distracted by the day’s events.

Lighting Conditions

Another concern is the lighting in hotel bathrooms because they sometimes prioritize mood over functionality. Dimly lit spaces can hide wet spots or other dangers and make navigating the environment hazardous. Older hotels may also lack the necessary bright bathroom lights that are a common feature in modern versions. Additionally, some hotels neglect essential maintenance, and burned-out bulbs result in inadequate lighting.

Hotel & Maintenance Responsibilities

Oregon follows general premise liability principles when it comes to hotels. They are responsible for meeting specific safety standards in every room they keep. These standards include:

  1. Maintenance: Hotels should ensure the premises are reasonably safe for guests. This includes repairing any hazards and conducting regular checks.
  2. Adequate Lighting: Hotels should ensure that hallways, rooms, and other common areas have sufficient lighting to prevent accidents.
  3. Warnings: If there is a temporary hazard (like a wet floor or icy surface), the hotel should provide warning signs or barriers to notify guests.
  4. Safety Equipment: Hotels should have fire alarms, extinguishers, and other safety equipment in working order and easily accessible by everyone.

If these standards are not met, the hotel becomes liable for any slip and fall injuries that occur. For you to prove that the hotel is responsible for your medical bills, you generally have to prove:

The Breach of Duty of Care

  1. Duty of Care: Duty of care is the idea that the hotel has an obligation to provide you with a safe environment. Oregon makes this a requirement of all public establishments.
  2. Breach of Duty: The breach of that duty means that the hotel knew or should have known about a hazardous condition but failed to fix it or warn you about it.
  3. Causation: Causation, for legal purposes, means that the breach of duty directly caused your injuries. For instance, you fell due to poor lighting in the parking lot, or you slipped in the shower because of poor maintenance.
  4. Damages: Damages mean that you suffered actual harm like physical injuries, medical bills, or lost wages. Any time you took off work to recover, or any physical therapy you needed as a result, can be defined as damages.

All of that said, determining liability can be a complex issue, and multiple factors can influence the outcome. If you believe you have a claim against an Oregon hotel, speak with one of our personal injury attorneys today.

Legal Actions to Take After a Hotel Slip or Fall

If you’ve come to this page seeking advice on what to do after a hotel injury, our attorneys at Zbinden & Curtis would like to offer this:

  1. Document the Incident: Take photos as soon as you are able to. Document the hazard that caused your fall and the conditions leading up to it. Show your injury as it was at the time of your fall, and then immediately seek medical attention.
  2. Seek Immediate Medical Attention: It’s normal to feel embarrassed after a slip or fall— we all do. But that feeling of embarrassment can lead us to downplay injuries to save face. This is the worst thing we can do at that moment because some injuries are not noticeable right away. If you hit your head or twisted your back, the consequences could take a few days to show up. Medical records also act as another piece of evidence to prove your injury. Even if you feel fine, getting checked out right away is always a wise decision.
  3. Notify Hotel Management: This notifies them of the situation and creates another paper trail of your injury. They’ll be required under Oregon law to keep any evidence footage they may have of the incident. Erasing or tampering with this footage can put them in even more trouble than the injury they caused.
  4. Reach Out to our Experienced Hotel Injury Attorneys at Zbinden & Curtis: At Zbinden & Curtis Attorneys At Law, we stand by accident victims and understand the complexities of hotel slip and fall cases. If you’ve been injured in a hotel near Portland or Woodburn, Oregon, you should let our seasoned team guide you in pursuing justice.

A slip in a hotel bathroom can lead to life-altering consequences. Hotel management has a responsibility to ensure the safety of their guests. If they fail, holding them accountable is what we do best. Call Zbinden & Curtis today at (503) 287-5000.

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